We didn’t have permission slips signed by our parents and there was no school bus, but Susan, Jacob and I took a field trip this week to check out the offices of StartPad, another coworking site in downtown Seattle.
When I first walked into the offices, the feeling I got was so similar to what I felt when I’d walk into my offices at Amazon.com back in their start-up days. I felt as if I were suddenly transported back to the late 90s. I don’t mean to say that the place feels behind the times. It’s just that there’s a certain kind of energy around tech start ups and StartPad is awash in it because it’s a coworking space geared toward tech startups.
Honestly, it was really neat to be surrounded by that kind of energy again. The people all had harried looks in their eyes and computer equipment seemed to be everywhere (though orderly). The offices were well laid out with lots of discrete areas so no one group would ever feel like they were on top of another. One major difference with Office Nomads is that there are private offices with walls and doors. The ones I saw all have windows on the hallway side so no one ever has to feel totally isolated. A nice touch.
Susan, Jacob, Mike (who owns StartPad), his office manager Zach, and I hung around in one of their conference rooms talking about each company’s origins and reasons for being. As I said, StartPad exists to give software and Internet startups (20 so far) a place to come and work mostly because Mike has spent a lot of time starting his own companies. They hold a bunch of educational events for that community (including one on setting up a corporate structure on April 29) and are also compiling a database of service providers and references for companies that can serve their community.
I have to be honest, not being a software guy, my eyes kept wandering to the foosball table in the corner. I wanted to try and get a game in, but our parking expired before I could work it into the conversation. Ah well, next time.
Later in the day, the StartPad guys came up to Office Nomads to join us for Monday lunch (“Brought to you by Wednesday“). Susan and Jacob sprung for pizza and, as is the norm for our weekly office lunches, we all spent a lot of time sitting around the fancy, new conference table Susan and Jacob built laughing and joking. (Though there was no talk about Britney Spears for once.) Afterwards, Susan and Jacob took the guys on a tour of the space and spent some more time talking with them about various visions and hopes for Seattle’s coworking community.
Of course, it’s the idea of community that’s drawn all of us to coworking, so it was nice to get some time to create some with another space in the city. Hopefully, a few more will pop up that have the same desire as Susan and Jacob and we’ll take some more field trips.Social tagging: community > Coworking > field trip > foosball > Monday Lunch > office nomads > StartPad